Solberg tops Rally d'Italia shakedown

Petter Solberg set the fastest time at the pre-event shakedown test for this week's Rally d'Italia

Solberg tops Rally d'Italia shakedown

The Norwegian tested his Citroen DS3 WRC for a day in France last week and pronounced himself confident and ready to win the Olbia-based event. Solberg was seven tenths of a second faster than Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who was second quickest over the 1.2-mile stage.

"It's gone well this morning, I'm happy," said Solberg. "I feel confident with the car. I did 150 kilometres in the test last week, we changed a few things, but really it was just time in the car for me."

Solberg's only problem on the test was suffering some tyre problems with the new hard compound Michelin cover he was running.

"We had a tyre come off the rim seven times in the test," said Solberg. "I think it was a problem with the wheel rim. We're using the same manufacturer of rims as the factory team, but not exactly the same wheel as them. Now we are using those rims, we didn't have the problem. But, for this week, like I said, I am happy and confident. I need the points. I need to win some rallies now."

All eyes were on the two factory Minis, competing for the first time in Sardinia. Kris Meeke was the fastest of the two John Cooper Works WRCs, posting a 1m47.7s.

"I haven't even looked at the times," said Meeke. "There was no point in trying to do anything at that shakedown stage. You couldn't use that stage to try and build the confidence or anything like that. The road was hellishly rough, if you ran wide in a corner, you ran the risk of hitting a rock the size of a transit van."

Despite the hype building around the event, Meeke said he remained focused on the job in hand.

"I've been waiting for this all of my driving career, I'm not about to choke now," said Meeke. "It would be easy to get drawn into the whole thing, especially when we're at the launch and things like that, but when I close the door and pull on the helmet I'm in the office and this is another rally. We have a job to do."

shares
comments
Q & A with Kris Meeke

Previous article

Q & A with Kris Meeke

Next article

Latvala: Friday will be hardest day

Latvala: Friday will be hardest day
Load comments
The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0 Plus

The steely determination behind the WRC’s Solberg 2.0

Two decades after Petter Solberg emerged as a World Rally Championship winner, his son Oliver is ready to take the WRC by storm. Having secured a part-time WRC factory drive for Hyundai in 2022, he's raring to repay the marque's faith in him and follow in his 2003 champion father's footsteps

WRC
Oct 14, 2021
Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season Plus

Analysing the key moves in WRC’s 2022 silly season

The World Rally Championship will step into a new hybrid era in 2022, but the car changes haven't been the only excitement that has built within the paddock. WRC's 'silly season' kicked off in a big way and all the key driver moves for 2022 - of which there are many - look set to shake things up

WRC
Oct 13, 2021
How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age Plus

How joining Finland’s exclusive club was Evans' true WRC coming-of-age

By his own admission, the fifth World Rally Championship victory of Elfyn Evans' career in Finland last weekend was the drive of his life. Winning five stages in a row and soaking up huge pressure from the Hyundais on the fastest gravel stages around, the Welshman put in a faultless showing that proved what he is truly made of

WRC
Oct 4, 2021
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021